The Working Mom

March 2004

We all know you can't do it all ... without good help. We live in a world where women work. The question is how did they balance time between child raising and a full-time job. The answer is it's not easy. It's often stressful and results and burn out. Before planning a child when should anticipate what will happen after the child is born in terms of childcare. Relying on a parent or another relative to take care of a child is not always the best way to go. Daycare can be helpful.

Though we live in a world where we think we can multitask and do everything for everybody, that is not the case.

Well thought out time management home policies and understanding your personal needs will determine how you plan the activities in your life. Juggling your time is what life is about for you.

You may often feel that you are leading a double life.

Learn to manage your time so that you have completed your tasks and can leave work at the appointed hour.

Plan some catch-up time at work so that if something unexpected happens, you'll have the time to deal with it.

Be assertive. If your boss is always making demands at the end of the day, tell your boss tactfully that the work day has ended and that you'll be pleased to complete the task in the morning. There may be a legitimate emergency sometime, but it should not be a daily occurrence.

Learn to separate your personal and work lives. Don't take your personal life to work and don't take your work home.

If possible, use your computing time to your advantage. The time it takes to get from work to home can be very helpful in making the transition from one world to another. If you commute by train or bus, you can answer emails and phone calls.

Some people use this time to finish thinking about what's been happening at work and to shift gears and make plans for responsibilities at home. When they get home, they are mentally organized to get started. Others use commuting time to listen to music or read a book. This time can be devoted to a pleasant activity without feeling guilty about home or work demands.

A good back-up system is a must. It is important for couples to help one another make the transition from work to home. Good communication is important between couples about what needs to be done and who needs to do it. There are no hard and fast rules about who and what should be done. An open discussion will help each spouse understand the other person's roles and feelings. Children can also be given tasks that will help the family accomplish what needs to be done in a relatively short time. This sharing of tasks not only teaches children responsibility but also gives them a sense of belonging. Small children are often tired when they get home. A nap at this time will improve the child's disposition and give the parents time to do what needs to be done.

The simple act of changing clothes can make the transition from work to home easier. A different set of clothes can make you feel like you're finally home. Work and home often require different roles and behaviors. Being dressed for the job at hand makes the transition complete.

A nutritious snack will help relieve family members' hunger. With a little planning, this snack could be the first course of your dinner; salad, soup, crackers and cheese. This snack will give you extra time to prepare a nutritious dinner. Good eating habits, and exercise are important for all. Prepare meals in advance when you have free time.

The way you balance home and job changes, evolves through the years as children grow up. All depends on the ages of your children and their level of independence. Many working moms can't wait until their children are able to come home from school and take care of themselves. Often moms can't wait for their children to go away to summer camp or go off to college, anything that gives them a break.

Working from the home is often the best solution.

Working while your children are in school is another.

There are women around the world whose function is, [their programming in the game], to marry, and raise a family. Higher education, career planning, and the desire to explore other aspects of their experience here, is not supposed to be part of the equation. Many women are comfortable with that, especially when their husband is a good provider and they can afford to stay home and raise a family.

The workplace has changed, especially for women in many fields. Younger generations of women, are better educated, learn more from the Internet about the world at large, travel more, and often have to provide income in their marriages. Educated women are often challenged by staying home with children and mundane tasks linked with child care. They get bored with the daily gossip and dramas of other moms and seek a job, lover, or both. Many just want to get out of the house.

So now we have the working mom! For the most part she is a good hard-working women, whose family comes first. She is grateful for cells phones so she can keep an eye on things at home and can always be reached.

The working mom is often guilt ridden, and conflicted especially after she returns to work after having a baby. They both adjust.

Yet the numbers of hours in one day are often not enough for her to get everything done, time management, and she slowly begins to burn out if she does not set a system to help her.

Some women can afford cleaning help or a nanny to do the housework and take care of the children. Others share these responsibilities with their husbands. Yet many men work long hours and do not have time nor energies to provide much help. They too come home tired and need nurturing.

Enter other issues, what if one of the children, has special needs, sees a therapist, needs a tutor, has after-school athletic or creative activities, and so forth.

Let's face it ... You can't be a full time mom and work at the same time as you can't be in two places at once. You must have dependable help or you will become depleted.

Planning and time management are the keys, yet even they are not enough, especially when you want your children raised in a certain way and the caretaker at home sees things different.

The bottom line....there is no solution. All you can do, is the best you can. When children go through their stages, illnesses, and especially adolescence, you will have to grin and bear it.

I am a hard core believer in family planning. Birth control is most important as families that have more children than, they want, they can emotionally deal with, they can financially afford, and are emotionally able to care for, will become dysfunctional and fall apart.

It is all part of our childhood conditioning and what we think will make us happy.

But that changes. What makes you happy at age 20 is often meaningless at 30 or 40 and so on. One must allow for change and growth.

Perhaps we should re-evaluate the nature of the home and family as we evolve to the next level of consciousness and each day become more detached from the mundane busy work in our lives.

We spend our lives feeding the needs of our soul at that moment in time. We play out the dramas and usually try our best.

We seek out a soul who connects and understand our needs and is there for us.

But that too changes, as all things do, in time.

Personally, I am not good at multitasking in 3D. I am programmed to multitask on many levels at the same time while in my physical body. People are amazed how I move back and forth from one reality to another.

Knowing that each step in the 3D experience is always met with tedious challenges, I have preferred to take on one project at a time, and do it to the best of my ability.

The working mom not only has to manage time under normal circumstances, but each day will bring its share of issues and challenges. This makes it almost impossible to remain in balance.

Though my friends and I were all educated and career minded, I was the only one who chose to, stay at home to raise my family, have 3 children, most had 2.

I loved the experience and knew there would be many years to be part of the work force and deal with the energies of other humans and their dysfunctional dramas. Teaching in the NYC school system, or working in the corporate world were not for me, too much negativity.

I have always understood the multi-dimensional nature of my experience, and have factored that into my Time Management here. Most people are not programmed that way, and do not allow for the daily mishaps.

The working mom will always have issues balancing time and family! Get all the help you can! Find a few quiet moments for yourself even in the shower or a relaxing bath at the end of the day. Yoga or exercise helps. See a therapist to help you sort out issues. Do not go on a guilt trip if you miss something.

Of course the best way to go is proper planning. If you understand who you are, emotionally, spiritually and physically, you can maintain balance in your life and really enjoy raising your children. But somewhere in this experience, you must connect with who you are. Do not get lost. Get help! It can be done. If not you will have to be one of those moms who is not free until her children are grown and gone. At that time she often divorces and goes off to find, herself, love, and spiritual connection.